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Post offices and post boxes by Dr Bob Forrester

Herm has had some unusual arrangements for these essential services  

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The sub post office which operated between 1925 and 1938 was situated in the Mermaid Tavern, and a standard British posting box with the cypher GR was built into the wall at the entrance to the Tavern's outside seating area.

  On the closure of the office the box was blocked to prevent further use but it remained in situ for many years until the redevelopment of the Mermaid area.

In the 1950s the local postal service's office was in the island's gift shop overlooking the harbour.

In the early 1960s it was moved to the cottage at the foot of Manor Drive , only to return to the gift shop when that cottage became part of The Ship Restaurant.

A converted barrel painted blue was used as the island's posting box until the construction of an elaborate and attractive wooden box which bore some resemblance to a cuckoo clock.

The post office was still in the gift shop when the Guernsey Post Office opened its Herm sub office on 1 October 1969 and the 'cuckoo clock' posting box remained in use.  (The author is seen making use of it.)

Both the post office and the posting box were later moved to another gift shop in the adjacent piazza where the office can still be found.  However in the winter of 1981-82 the original British posting box was found on the island's rubbish dump and was put back into use.

The 'cuckoo clock' box was then converted into a dovecote and placed in a tree near to the office.

In the winter months when the shop is closed, postal business is conducted from the island's administration office or the White House Hotel.

Illustrations from the collections of Dr Bob Forrester and David Ackroyd

Scanning and editing by Peter Hewitt

 

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